There’s a very good reason everyone is tweeting about Rachel Parris’ latest appearance on Late Night Mash right now.
Rachel Parris is, without a doubt, one of the biggest draws to whip-smart topical satire show Late Night Mash. Expertly mixing comedy with the politics of the moment, the comedian’s segments almost always go viral on social media – and this week’s, somewhat unsurprisingly, proved little different.
However, while Parris still made us all laugh out loud with her examination of misogyny and male violence in the UK, she also broke our hearts, too.
During the segment, Parris reminded viewers that justice secretary Dominic Raab recently declared that “misogyny is absolutely wrong whether it’s a man against a woman, or a woman against a man.”
Highlighting the fact that the word ‘misogyny’ refers solely to hatred or contempt for women and girls, and not the other way around, Parris quipped: “Dominic Raab, a man who looks like the thickest member of your stag do, and the actual justice secretary thinks it’s just being a bit mean to someone.
“Maybe it’s a woman, maybe it’s a woman, maybe it’s a house plant,” she continued. “The hundreds of pigs being culled across the country… well, maybe it’s not down to Brexit, but the rise in porcine misogyny.
Parris added: “I don’t want to be unkind to Mr Raab, but it’s genuinely impossible not to be. Although it’s tricky to know the meaning of a word that affects 51% of the population.
“I mean, what do you expect him to do? Look it up?”
“In recent weeks we’ve seen the sentencing of police officer Wayne Couzens for the rape and murder of Sarah Everard,” Parris went on.
“A man has been charged with the murder of Sabina Nessa and this week two or three women in the UK will be murdered by a man in the UK, like every week. This is evidence of misogyny. Sorry, best be clear – misogyny against women.
“And these are not isolated incidents. They are part of a daily culture of misogyny that controls women and limits our freedom and diminishes us. Catcalling, violent porn, rape jokes on WhatsApp or ‘locker room banter’.”
Expressing her disappointment over the government’s response to the epidemic of male violence, Parris said: “Boris Johnson has said he doesn’t want to make misogyny a hate crime because it will increase the volume of work for police for this area.
“But the scale of a problem probably shouldn’t be a reason not to act on it. You don’t get builders with slogans on their vans saying, ‘No job too small, but most are too big.’
Noting that she personally believes misogyny should absolutely be made a hate crime, Parris added: “It’s the least the criminal justice system can do, and that’s the exact amount they like to do.”
Here, of course, is where things got incredibly raw for many watching, as Parris went on to address the fact that the government has once again placed responsibility almost entirely upon women to protect themselves against male violence, as opposed to confronting the issue at its source.
“Kidnap victims have had it wrong for decades,” she joked bitterly. “It seems obvious when you think about it – simply ask your kidnapper to wait for a few minutes while you make a quick phone call. Kidnappers are famously patient.”
“Or you can run into a house, just one of those open unlocked houses you see along the street. Or, best practice, wave down a bus. They’re the fourth emergency service, why wouldn’t you? Wave down a bus, whistle down a taxi, wink at a train!”
Watch the viral video for yourself below:
Finishing her impassioned speech, Parris said: “So far, the only solutions offered for the epidemic of violence against women have been to monitor, control and victim-blame women. To address your confusion Mr Raab, that’s what misogyny is.”
Then, looking straight down the camera lens, she directed her attention to all those men watching the episode from home.
“One in four women are abused by a partner,” she told them. “So chances are you either are an abuser, or you know one.
“What can you change? What can you do? Because women are already doing enough. And we’re knackered.”
Parris’ explanation of misogyny has since gone viral, with many taking to social media to praise the comedian for her bittersweet approach to a very difficult subject matter.
“Absolutely incredible,” reads one comment. “An astonishing piece of work that should be compulsory viewing for everybody.
“If only we could get such eloquence and intelligence from our politicians!”
Another adds: “We all know that if the stats of how many women have been killed by men this year related to acts of terrorism there would be public uproar and huge amounts of government activity. And yet this domestic terrorism against women and girls has been completely normalised.”
And still one more says simply: “I cried at the end when you said we’re knackered.”
Us too, quite frankly, because enough is enough. And that’s why Stylist has launched #AFearlessFuture, our initiative calling on the Home Office to launch a public awareness campaign about male violence against women, aimed squarely at adult men.
You can find out more about how we hope to challenge the attitudes that underpin, encourage and tolerate male violence against women and girls in our society here.
For information and support for anyone affected by rape or sexual abuse issues, call the Rape Crisis National Helpline on 0808 802 9999.